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Japanese Sewing Books in English

Japanese Sewing Books in English

Survey – What type of Japanese Sewing Books would you like to see in English?

July 29, 2015

As mentioned last week, I am running a survey to find out the type of Japanese Sewing Books that you would most like to see translated to English. I have compiled a list of the major categories, based on how the popular genres of Japanese sewing books available out there.

Many of you, may find it hard to choose just one category. I find it hard to narrow down my favourite type of sewing too. So you are allowed to pick up to 3 options, but you can only vote once. So choose wisely! The people in charge of deciding which books to translate may just be swayed by your vote so make your voice heard today and you can make it happen!

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 2015-07-20 09:48:12
end_date 2015-08-05 23:59:59
Poll Results:
What kind of sewing books would you like to see translated to English?

Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books in English Ladies Sewing Patterns

Book Review – She Wears the Pants (Now in English)

March 11, 2015

As promised, another book review of a soon to be released English translated Japanese Sewing Book. I know I promised it would be up last week but I have a good excuse. An excuse that explains why getting a blog post photographed and written is taking more time than is used to. I will try to improve on that but more details about that in my next book review. 🙂

Back to this book. The original book in Japanese was first published sometime in 2013 which is really not too long ago, and the original title of the book was “She has a mannish style”  Do you remember that book? I fell in love with the book because, despite loving dresses and girly stuff, the truth is that as a Mum my wardrobe is literally navy, black and grey + shorts/pants.  The draw of this book is that the designer has taken wearable daily clothes and added some really cool designer touches to them.

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Yuko Takada is also the author for I love Tops  (click to see my review on the Japanese book) and I love Pants. She is an award winning designer who graduated from the famous Bunka Fashion College with a major in Fashion engineering. This book has been translated to French as well with the title “Féminin masculin” which I am guessing means Female Male? or is it the other way round as Google translate tells me “male Female”? So now there are 3 very different titles for the 3 versions, but I think you get the point what this book is about. The author herself says it best, when describing the inspiration behind her creations….. see the little paragraph below the Contents page.

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“Sometimes you want to dress cool and boyish, in special, unique pieces that are only for you…”

In the Japanese version review, I did share a number of the pictures with you but let’s have a look at them again just to refresh your memory. I’ve also added some new shots of those not shown previously.

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Oval coat with a round collar. Interesting attachment of grey knit fabric as part of the sleeves from the elbow down. It is sewn on as part of the coat.

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Jumper skirt with a false fly, decorative side panels and lined skirt.

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Mini Dress in stretched wool. The dress has a baggy top with a V-shaped neckline. The model is wearing another layer inside the dress which explains why you can’t quite see the details. I’ll try to describe it as best as I can. A decorative bow is sewn to both sides of the front V, and on the back there are criss cross straps sewn to the back V. The skirt is like a short elastic tube skirt attached to the baggy shirt.

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Top with Epaulettes. What’s an Epaulette? A shoulder decoration. In this case there are two fabric strips attached to the shoulder seams and fastened down with buttons.

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A velour blouse that I had did a translation for. Chance for me to check how accurate my translation was!

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Square Top – named after the squarish pattern pieces it is made out of. It’s one of those designer pieces that you need to figure out how to put on but so worth it cuz it looks so stylish and edgy. You can wear it in two different ways. Thrown on like a jacket…or like a blouse (below)

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Fleece Jacket – the knit lining makes for an interesting contrast when you turn up the sleeves.

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Sarrouel Trousers – are these technically the same as harem pants? I am not familiar with the terms but when looking at the how-to-make for this pair of pants, be warned that it looks like tricky business. I’m used to having two or four symmetrical pattern pieces when sewing pants, but this particular design calls for different size panels and pattern pieces, that will be pieced together to form the pants.

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A casual unlined long jacket with welted pockets.

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Pompom blouse – one of the simpler patterns to make but with an interesting neck binding that accentuates the neckline and the shoulder seam. The pompoms are actually from ready made pompom trim.

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Draped Mini Dress – From the instructions this dress looks really easy to make. The drapes will form naturally thanks to the shape of the pattern piece and the knit fabric used. The material list calls for Cotton T-cloth, which I am assuming means T-shirt material (knit jersey) made of cotton? A google search turns up either cotton fabric, one even said it’s grey sheeting fabric but in the Japanese versions the term used is 綿 (which means cotton) and 天竺 (which means jersey). All the image searches in Japanese turn up some kind of knit fabric and it makes sense given that the dress has no other enclosure and a plain cotton fabric will not create such nice drapes nor allow you to get in and out of the dress with ease. So my conclusion is when they say T-cloth in Japanese sewing books, it means jersey.

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Tapered trousers. Learn how to make a proper pair of pants with the full works – waistbands with belt carriers, side pockets with pocket bags, back patch pockets, zip fly. The design details are in the back waistband, where there is a interesting design feature as well as a decorative belt.

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Semi-flared culottes with tucks and decorated with a waist tie made with the same fabric.

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Draped cardigan – Another interesting piece in terms of pattern design. This cardigan is constructed out of 3 irregular pieces of fabric and the pockets are cleverly designed as part of the pattern piece so that you don’t actually have to make the pockets but just sew up the edges and the pockets will form naturally. It’s hard to describe. You have to see it the pattern to know what I mean!

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Decorative Tippets that you can drape over any plain shirt/outfit to jazz it up.

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This blouse is called the Gathered Blouse, it looks really simple but the design details are in the back. There were two photos of this in the book but both were showing the front and not the back! The back bodice piece is gathered where it meets the yoke. There are also pleats where the sleeve meets the cuffs and the cuffs come with a slit opening secured by a button.

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The last piece is a knitted belt stole. What’s a belt stole you might ask? A belt + a stole combined in one piece. You fasten the belt around your waist and wrap the stole around your neck. Prevents it from slipping off. Brilliant eh? This is actually a knitting pattern with actual instructions on how to cast on and off, knit,purl and even how to make a fringe. The whole stole is made of rib stitch and stocking stitches which are essentially different combinations of the knit and purls. It does not tell you exactly what a rib or stocking stitch is, so you have to find that out for yourself. In any case, using diagrams to learn knitting/crochet has always been difficult for me to visualize, all the arrows give me a headache 😛 So I always fall back on youtube videos. Once you pick it up, it’s easy to follow this pattern to make this gorgeous belt stole.

The patterns in the book are for sizes XS-L, according to the measurements below. As usual, measurements are in inches and cm equivalents in brackets.

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There are a couple of pages devoted to basic sewing tips and techniques, text+photographs included. In my previous review I did mention that they were not so useful as a lot of the photos needed explanation from the accompanying text. Now it’s all in English so no more problems with that! The sewing tips cover the preparation of fabric, choice of needle and thread, sewing seams, finishing edges, and even sewing on stretch fabrics and edge binding.

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The how-to-makes are presented in a similar way as in the Japanese version.

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A close up of the diagrams in the book.

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Unlike the Japanese versions where the pattern sheets are stuck on to the last page, there is a handy pocket on the back cover. I wish they would do this for all Japanese sewing books because I hate tearing the patterns out of the back page.

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The back cover of the original book was a cool cement gray wall+floor. Very minimalistic. This new back cover makes more sense because you get to see more of what is in the book. Oh and this book includes a quote from me as well! In case you are wondering, I don’t get paid for this at all! I’m just a fan of the book! 🙂

In summary, some of the pieces do seem a little complicated to make but there are also easy pieces that look really unique and stylish so I guess there’s something for everyone in this book, whether you are a beginner or advanced sewist.


available now for pre-order on Amazon.com

Title : She Wears the Pants: Easy Sew-it-Yourself Fashion with an Edgy Urban Style
Author : Yuko Takada
ISBN No. : 978-4-8053-1326-8

Book Reviews Girls Sewing Patterns Japanese Sewing Books in English

Book Review – Sewing for your girls (Sewing Recipe in English)

March 1, 2015

3 years ago I bought this book while holidaying in Japan, called Sewing Recipe for Girls, by one of my favourite author/pattern designer Yoshiko Tsukiori 月居良子. There is also an adult version of this book called Sewing Recipe. The books are designed to function not merely as pattern books, but also serves as reference books as well. The books cover a wide range of sewing techniques from basic to advance, that you will need to learn to sew up your own wardrobe. The sewing techniques are presented in step by step photographs which made it easy to understand, but the accompanying explanatory text was in Japanese. So imagine my excitement when I found out that the Girls’ version of the book was going to be translated to English!

The books are almost identical in terms of content, but the front and back covers have been changed. Oh, the title has been changed as well. In Japanese, the word レシピ (pronounced re-shi-pi, a term borrowed from the English word recipe) is not only used for cooking recipes, but also to refer to instructions on how to prepare/make something. For example “Handmade Recipe” – meaning how-to-make procedure for handmade crafts. So it’s not strange to see it on a Japanese book as a book title, but I guess it will be strange to use it in reverse, i.e. on an English book since “recipes” usually refer to cooking recipes. So the editors have thoughtfully changed it to a more self-explanatory title. “Sewing for your girls”.

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A quick look at the contents page – there are 8 basic patterns, with 1 or 2 applied patterns for each of the basic patterns.

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As you can see from the contents page, there are many many pages dedicated to sewing techniques. I did not cover each individual basic pattern in my review previously, so let’s take a better look at each of the patterns as well as some of the sewing lessons.

Before we begin, here is the size chart for the patterns included in this book. Like all the other translated books, the main measurements are given in inches with cm equivalents in brackets.

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The first basic pattern (see above) is a basic A-line dress with frills on the shoulders. To make it simple, for both the one sewing as well as the one wearing it, the dress has a front neck slit and closed by a ribbon tie on the front. No complicated zips or buttons to fiddle with. A great dress to begin with if you are a beginner.

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The first sewing lesson is based on basic pattern #1, includes all the steps, from transferring patterns, cutting out fabric, marking the symbols on the fabric, and even how to use a sewing machine! So even if you are not making basic pattern #1, this will be useful for you!

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At the end of each basic pattern, the applied patterns are presented. There are 2 applied patterns for patterns #1,2 and 6, and 1 applied pattern each for patterns #3,4,5 and 7.

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Basic Pattern #2 – Basic blouse with puffed sleeves and back enclosure with buttons.

Note how for each basic pattern, the finished projects are presented in both printed and solid color fabrics. This was done intentionally by the author so that it can help you imagine your own designs and visualize the clothes in different types of fabrics.

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Applied Pattern #2a and #2b – with modified collars and sleeves

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Basic pattern #3 is a dress with smocking on the front yoke. Smocking is a technique used a lot in girls clothing. Yup, you learn how to make real hand-stitched smocking and not the “fake smocking” effect using elastic thread.

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Applied pattern #3 shares the same basic pattern as pattern #3 but looks rather different. Instead of smocking, the front yoke panel is gathered instead. The sleeves are also lengthened with added smocking details along the sleeve extension. A contrasting ribbon tape is sewn around the neckline for decoration.

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Basic pattern #4 – A simple drawstring pants pattern made in sweatshirt (jersey knit) fabric that will be perfect for lounging in. Modify this pattern on your own to create easy to wear shorts or long pants in any fabric of your choice.

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Applied pattern #4 uses the same pants pattern from basic pattern #4 but with an added bib + straps above the waistline, and therefore creating a new outfit – overalls. Hidden side pockets and a back pocket were added as well.

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Pattern #5 is what I called the “fake smocking” effect. From far, it looks like the top part of the bodice was smocked. In actual fact, the fabric is gathered not by hand, but by using a shirring elastic. I have made these dresses many times and my girls love to wear them. These dresses are made up of simple rectangles for the front and back piece, and two more long and thin rectangles form the straps. They are very easy to sew, except that you have to wind the shirring elastic by hand with a slight tension. It may take a couple of experiments to get the correct effect so if you are doing it for the first time so do try it on a scrap piece of fabric before sewing on your actual piece of fabric.

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The applied pattern is a simple adaptation. A lengthened skirt with tiers using co-ordinated fabric.

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Pattern #6 is a Long sleeve smock blouse with elastic gathered neckline and sleeve openings. Easy to wear and comfy too!

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The applied patterns for #6 are 2 rather different designs. One is a cap sleeve with contrast ribbon tie detail on the front, the other is a sleeveless camisole like top. You can’t see it in this picture, but there is an added layer of tulle over the fabric for applied pattern b.

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Basic pattern #7 – round collar sleeveless blouse with frill details on the front bodice and buttons down the front. The tops are slightly flared towards the hem line for ease of movement.

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Applied pattern #7 is a lovely linen dress with a sailor type collar and a button down opening halfway down the front. I’ve always wondered how to make these half button placket kind of things but no worries, there is a sewing lesson on that too. There are also embroidery details on the pocket as well as the collar.  The patterns for embroidery as well as instructions for the stitching methods are included.

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Basic pattern #8 is a poncho style blouse which is great for layering over a plain top as outerwear. The hems of the flared sleeves and bodice are lined with ric-rac tape.

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After seeing all the patterns offered, it’s time to get started on sewing! The next section covers all the basic techniques you will need for the garments in the book. Unlike the sewing lessons accompanying basic pattern #1, the photos are in black and white, but still in great detail as you shall see. There are 32 pages devoted to these step by step photos on various sewing techniques, from something as simple as hand sewing buttons to attaching a collar, inserting an invisible zipper, or a partial opening (like the half button down opening for applied pattern #7) The full list of sewing techniques can be seen on the content page.

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Example of step by step photos for sewing techniques.

The last section contains the detailed instructions for all the other basic patterns and applied patterns. Each page includes the Materials list, Instructions, Cutting layout, as well as a order of make diagram.

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Close up of the order of make diagram. Follow the numbers in the order given to complete the garment.

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As all the sewing techniques are compiled within one section, you will notice that the instructions do not have detailed diagrams for each step, instead you will need to refer to the respective pages under the sewing techniques. At first this may seem rather troublesome, but after a few projects, you will be so familiar with some of these techniques, you will have no need to refer to the techniques anymore.

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There are 2 full size pattern sheets, printed on both sides for a total of 4 sides. Attached to the back cover is a handy pocket for storing your pattern sheets.

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And last but not least, the back cover has also changed. Now it includes more photos of the projects, as well as a quote by yours truly! The people at Tuttle saw my review from 3 years ago on the Japanese version of the book and asked me if they could quote me on the English version. But of course! 🙂 For me, this was truly the most exciting part about getting the English version of the book! A big shout-out to the lovely folks at Tuttle for sending me this review copy and having my quote on their book.

click on the thumbnail to pre-order from Amazon now

Title : Sewing for your girls
Author : Yoshiko Tsukiori
ISBN No: 978-4805313275

Next week, another newly translated English book review. It’s a book that I have reviewed before and even did a pattern translation from it. Some of you have emailed me regarding this book so I think you will be excited to see the English version of it. Stay tuned!

Book Reviews Girls Sewing Patterns Japanese Sewing Books in English

Girly Style Wardrobe – Now in English

January 17, 2015

Yay! Another book by Yoshiko Tsukiori has been translated to English by Laurence King. This time it’s for the girls. We’ve seen many of her adult sewing books being translated to English, but Yoshiko Tsukiori has authored many books for girls as well. I was so excited to hear that this was translated to English and even more excited when Laurence King sent me a copy for review. This particular book was one of the first books I bought when I first started sewing for my girls. It was first published in 2007 which is like 7 years ago??!! Brings back lots of memories….

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The original Japanese version on the right.

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The English edition has remained true to the original, with the addition of the following two pages below (located at the back of the book)

I like this better because you can tell at a glance, what patterns are included in this book.

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As stated on the front cover, there are 28 patterns for  girls’ sizes 100cm-140cm

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As with all translated versions, the main measurements are in inches and the cm equivalents in brackets. The size chart even has a US/UK size guide chart which is a pretty useful estimate if you are sewing for someone else as a gift and can’t get hold the actual body measurements without spoiling the surprise.

Now let’s take a look at the garments you can make in this book. Before we start I must confess that I bought the book because I loved the photography and prop styling in this book! You can hardly tell this book was first published in 2007. Many of the garments were also made using Liberty prints and you can see how well both the pattern designs as well as the fabrics themselves have stood up to the test of time.

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a – tunic with patch pockets
The shoulder straps are actually separate straps (like rabbit ears) tied to form bows.

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b – box pleat tunic
The box pleat adds to the roominess of the garment, making it both easy and comfortable to wear. The neckline is finished with a pretty ribbon bow tie.

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c – box-pleat dress
This is the longer dress version of the box-pleat tunic, and this particular dress is made in lightweight wool. As the armholes and neckhole is pretty roomy, this serves as a great layer-on dress for cold winter days.

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d – bolero and skirt (skirt is shown on top in the picture below)
I just love the pretty bolero with a ribbon tie (she was really into ribbon ties then wasn’t she?) and also the girly ruffles on the flared sleeves.
The skirt features tucks in the front and a elastic waistband in the back for easy wearing. The contrast bias is made with gingham fabric.

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e – layered skirt.
This skirt is pretty much the same as the skirt in d, but there is an additional layer below, made with the same floral fabric used for the waistband and pocket bias binding.

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f – Square neck blouse with pin-tucks.
This is a really sweet blouse with pin-tucks on the front of the blouse. The book recommended the use of striped fabric to make it easier for folding the pin-tucks. If you have ever made pin-tucks, you will know how difficult it is to be completely precise, so yes using a striped fabric does make it much easier. But you can make this in solid fabric as well. This will make a really sweet and versatile piece in a white cotton fabric don’t you think?

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g – camisole.
Something cool and easy to wear for warmer days. Hey, ribbon ties again! 🙂 I do love the fabric combination don’t you? This top is pretty and girly with the gingham ribbon ties and ruffles at the hem.

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h- A-line dress
A simple A-line dress is a staple piece in every girl’s wardrobe. The cap sleeves allow lots of room for movement and will be lovely for a play dress. One of those dresses that your girls will wear over and over again since it is so comfortable. Oh, and guess what? The back closes with a ribbon tie!

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i – cap-sleeve dress
Another wardrobe staple as well as a pattern staple. I must have made more than a dozen of these bodice+skirt dresses in both sleeveless and sleeved versions. This version is with cap sleeves. With a basic pattern like this, you can create a casual or formal look depending on your choice of fabric.  In the example above (in Liberty print no less), the dress is jazzed up with a lace band to the yoke.

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j – winter dress
A long sleeve version of the cap sleeve dress. Similar in construction except for material (this version is using lightweight wool), and the elastic cuffs giving it a nice puff sleeve look. This will look gorgeous in a more formal fabric, and can definitely be adapted to a formal occasion dress for a little girl!

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k – bell sleeve blouse
Similar to a peasant blouse, this is another easy to wear top that your little girl will love. The above is made in lightweight wool and will be perfect for cold weather. But if you use a cotton lawn or linen, it will be perfect for summer days as well. The back is enclosed using loops and buttons (yay! no zips), and there are even instructions on how to make the thread loop in the proper manner using chain stitch over two strands of embroidery floss. Together with this outfit, there is also a pattern for a simple pair of pants with an elastic waistband and drawstrings detail on the cuffs.

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l – smock
I looked up the definition of a smock. A smock is meant to be an outer garment, for protecting your clothes while you are playing or working. Really? I can hardly bear to use this pretty piece as in place of an apron. This square neck smock in lightweight wool has a decorative ribbon sewn along the neckline for added style.

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m – smock dress
A dress variation of the smock (l) with ruffle sleeves and the addition of a patch pocket. A wide lace band runs around the neckline and the top opening of the pocket.

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n – open neck blouse, cap and pants
Don’t you love it when you get patterns for the entire outfit as-shown? The postboy cap (is that what it’s called?) is too cute. I’m sure lots of you mummies of boys will want to steal this pattern just for the cap. The pants is a basic elastic waistband pattern, but with practical box pleat pockets running along the side seams. The open neck blouse itself is super easy to wear since there is no enclosure but a front slit opening. Lovely for layering over a camisole or on its own on hot days.

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o – clasp purse and pants
The book title says Girly Style Wardrobe, so of course a girl must have a little girly purse to carry her little trinkets around. This pattern is for a metal clasp purse with instructions on how to attach the metal clasp (sewn-on type) to the fabric purse.

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p – ribbon-tie skirt
A simple layered skirt with an elastic waistband for easy wearing and a ribbon tie detail on the front.

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q – parka and tiered skirt
A hooded parka made in wool, enclosed in the front using snap buttons instead of a zip, embellished with a wide lace band around the hood and the top opening of the patch pockets. As for the skirt, it is made up of 3 tiers, with a 1cm wide ribbon sewn on in between the tiers, and a ribbon tie detail in between the top two tiers.

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r – wrap dress
This dress was made in wool, with a wrap-top effect on the front yoke, and wool lace added all around the neckline and hem. The back encloses with a zip, and there are graphical instructions for attaching a zip properly. There is also an additional pattern for a drawstring pouch made using the same leftover fabric.

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s – puff sleeve dress
A vintage style dresses with puff sleeves. Love the sweet sweet fabric on this one!

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t – dress with ruffle hem
This dress is super girly with lots of ruffles and gathers. Ruffles along the sleeves, gathers along the waist and ruffles along the hem. This is not a two layer skirt, but the ruffles are sewn attached to the hem. The added ruffles will make the skirt stand out more and I know fir a fact that little girls love to twirl in such skirts!

How to make

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The how to make section includes the usual material list, instructions, cutting layout diagrams. You may find that the text instructions are really short and sweet, and you will realize why this is so if you refer to the original book in Japanese.

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The original instructions are that simple! Straight to the point, and rather minimalistic. But it’s perfectly fine since the steps are illustrated in diagrams which are very detailed and easy to understand.

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The diagrams in the Japanese version.

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Patterns are conveniently enclosed in a plastic envelope attached to the back cover of the book.

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 slip
There is one last pattern which was not labelled, which was not fully shown on any page except the back cover, for a slip dress that can be used under dress S (the vintage puff sleeve dress). The length is designed for the white ruffles to peek out under dress S. As this is meant to be a slip, there are no zip/button enclosures but a wide neckline and large armholes, for easy slipping on and off.

I hope you are as excited about this new book as I am! Get yours today!

Title : Girly Style Wardrobe
Author : Yoshiko Tsukiori
ISBN No. : 978-1780674094

This book will be released 3rd February on Amazon but is now available for pre-order. Those of you in UK or Europe can also purchase it from Laurence King’s website, it’s already in stock and there’s free UK delivery.

Book Reviews Japanese Sewing Books in English Ladies Sewing Patterns

Book Review – Casual Sweet Clothes

January 6, 2015

Happy New Year everyone! A little late in the year for greetings maybe but this is my first post of the year!

Today I’m going to share with you a recently translated Japanese Sewing Book called Casual Sweet Clothes – Favourite Pieces for Every Day.

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This book was actually released in August last year and somehow fell off my “sewing books radar” 😛

Luckily for me, the very kind folks at Laurence King sent me a copy for review, and so I’m here to share with you the lovely pieces from the book! The patterns in this book are designed by Noriko Sasahara, who is a Fashion Design graduate of Bunka Fashion College.

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There are 18 patterns in all, Labelled A-R. The contents page is arranged by the order of appearance in the book, in some cases you will see the same garments featured again as co-ordinates paired together to form a complete outfit. Just to give you an idea of how to put the whole wardrobe together.

Now let’s have a look at the pretty pieces!

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A- Dress with Ruffle Shoulder Detail. A simple shift made feminine by the light ruffles running along the shoulder seams. This dress pictured is made in light cotton chambray.

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A combination of 2 patterns. C- Jersey top with cape sleeves (seen here in cotton and linen jersey knit) and P – a Layered lace skirt. Not my favourite way of paring them together. I would love to see the Jersey top with a pair of jeans and the lace skirt with a simple strappy camisole?

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D – Jewel-neck Jacket with Bow. When I read this, I was wondering “what is a Jewel-neck?” Then I found the answer on Google. Apparently it’s a round neckline, quite similar to the boat neck but just falls above the collarbone. It’s so named because the cut helps to accentuate or showcase a piece of jewellery against the fabric. I learned something new today!

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E – Another very sweet and feminine piece, a Lace-trimmed camisole. The ribbon belt is not an add on, but actually part of the design. The ribbon goes through a casing at the back of the camisole, and helps to gather the fabric in the back when you pull it together and tie it up in the front.

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F – Casual pants with ribbon belt (with 2 side pockets). It’s hard to see from the picture but there is also a grosgrain ribbon binding the edge of the side pockets and running down along the side seams. Fabric used for the pants is Water-repellent cotton garbadine.

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G – Lace-front blouse. If you are not keen on adding the lace panels, you can omit them, as the blouse itself is a very pretty blouse pattern with gathers both around the shoulder seams as well as the cuffs. I can imagine this pattern as a starter block for lots of pretty blouses, or even a coat.

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H- V-neck shift with double ruffled cuffs. A very easy to wear dress that makes you look slim yet can hide your flaws since it’s not skin-tight. I love the double ruffles on the cuffs. The back of the dress is enclosed with a zipper, and as part of the design it is an exposed zip (in black). I’m not sure if exposed zips are still in vogue but you can decide for yourself if you want to attach it inside or out. It’s good to learn how to sew an exposed zip though, since fashion trends are cyclical and you never know when it will make a comeback.

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I – Bolero Vest with Braid Trim, paired with the Casual pants (pattern F) seen earlier.
I love the bolero vest with the contrast braid trim! The position of the braid trim is marked out on the pattern sheets to guide you on its placement.

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J – Tiered Pencil Skirt. I can never pull off skirts of this length, but still, can’t help but marvel at how pretty it is. The skirt above is made in cotton sateen which has a bit of sheen, and there are 6 layers of overlapping ruffles.

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Here you see the same skirt paired with a flared jacket with raglan sleeves. I can’t quite imagine the two being paired together like this, but I just wanted to show you the pattern for the jacket. It’s a very simple casual jacket with a hood and two external pockets. Both the sleeves and bodice are flared. This will be a useful pattern for a rainy day jacket.

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K – Dress with lace-insert sleeves. Another very pretty shift dress with gathers along the shoulder seams of the front bodice. The sleeves are made of separate front and back pieces so that you can sew a piece of lace in between for a little peekaboo effect. The back is enclosed using a concealed zipper. I can see this in a shorter blouse version as well, or a different fabric for a less formal look.

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N – Denim Jacket with Braided Detail. The braided detail is made using 3 strips of denim and sewn all around the front and collar. There are no buttons on the front of the jacket though. The braided denim is attached using a blindstitch according to the instructions. By that I suppose it means you have to hand sew it?

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O – Flounced-edge jacket. A short cropped jacket with a pretty flounced edge that goes all around the edges. The main jacket body itself is made of 2 front pieces, one back piece and 2 side pieces. The sleeves are also made of two parts each, a top sleeve and an under sleeve. The extra seams help with the shaping of the jacket and gives it a more structured look.

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R – Round-neck coat with turn-up cuffs. This is actually from a similar pattern to pattern N – the denim braided jacket, but with a round collar and this coat is longer, almost to knee length. The cuffs can be worn folded down or up.

Now for some technical details….

The sizes in this book include XS-L, and will fit the following body measurements.

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Note that the measurements are in inches, with their cm equivalents indicated in brackets.

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A typical layout of the how-to-make page. Do also note that the seam allowances are not included in the pattern sheets, but have to be added on as indicated on the cutting layout diagram (bottom right diagram). Where it is not stipulated, use 1cm for seam allowance.

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In one corner of the page, note that there is a Finished Measurements table. This gives you an idea of the size of the finished garment so that you can select the right size or choose whether or not to make length adjustments before cutting out your fabric.

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A close up of the diagrams included.

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There are 2 pages on the back teaching you how to adjust the dress and sleeve lengths properly.

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The patterns are stored in a plastic pocket attached to the back cover. There are two full size pattern sheets, printed on both sides.

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Title : Casual Sweet Clothes
Author : Noriko Sasahara
ISBN No :978-1-78067-173-4


Now available from amazon

I really love the pieces in this book, especially the fact that they are mostly easy to wear and can be made casual or formal depending on the fabric choice. There are many books that have simple shift dresses but tend to look shapeless or baggy. Not in this book. The subtle accents like gathers around shoulder seams, added ruffles or lace panels really ups the style factor. I hope you liked this book as much as I did! I will be back next week with another soon to be released English book review. This time for girls, so stay tuned!